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  1. ITV Report

Human remains exhumed in case of missing Irish man

Joseph Dowley was last seen in 1985 when he was driven to a ferry terminal by a relative in Ireland. Credit: North Wales Police

Human remains, thought to be those of a missing Irish man, have been exhumed from an unmarked grave at Menai Bridge cemetery in Anglesey.

They will undergo an examination later this week.

North Wales Police 'strongly believe' the remains to be those of Joseph Brendon Dowley, a 63 year old Irish man from Kilkenny.

The exhumation was preceded by a graveside blessing from local priest Father Frank Murray.

We’ve had regular contact with Mr Dowley’s family in Ireland and I’ve updated them following yesterday’s operation.

I’d also like to pass on our thanks to the local community for their understanding and can now report access to the cemetery has returned to normality.

‘Our hope is to complete this stage of proceedings as quickly and professionally as possible so we can begin the process of reuniting the remains with family to grant them all the dignity and comfort of a full funeral and mass service.

– Dc Don Kenyon, North Wales Police
The exhumation was preceded by a graveside blessing from local priest Father Frank Murray. Credit: North Wales Police

The remains were discovered on Rhosneigr beach in 1985.

Despite a police investigation at the time all enquiries made to identify him failed and an inquest returned an ‘open verdict’.

His death was not treated as suspicious and he was interred at Menai Bridge cemetery, Anglesey.

Police now believe the remains are those of Joseph Brendon Dowley, a 63 year old Irish citizen living at the time in London. Mr Dowley had been visiting family in Ireland in October 1985 and was last seen when he was driven to the ferry terminal by a relative.

Credit: North Wales Police

HM Coroner for north west Wales Mr Dewi Pritchard Jones will now examine of what was recovered.

Police say sufficient DNA has been taken for a full comparison to be made.

Tests could take up to four weeks to complete.